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Accessible Expressions Ohio 2020 Winners

The Accessible Expressions Ohio 2020 Online Exhibition has been a success in every way imaginable. Out of 120 entries, 62 selected pieces stole our hearts through their originality, creativity, poignancy, darkness, lightness, joy, and sorrow. Of the 62, ten were selected as first, second, or third place winners in the categories of youth artist, emerging artist, and professional artist. One was chosen as best in show over all.

The winning entries were selected by Columbus professionals Cody Miller, AJ Vanderelli, Shelbi Harris, and Megan Green

Below we highlight the 2020 winning pieces. Enjoy. 

Youth Category

1st Place

white cut paper on a black background. Paper cuts show houses and cars laid out like horizontal stripes from top to bottom
Friend, Melissa Carpenter, Rittman, OH, Cut Paper, $50

My name is Melissa Carpenter and I am 15 years old and I go to the Rittman High School and I am a freshman. I like to listen to all sorts of music. My favorite sport is basketball. When I have free time, I like to watch YouTube and hang with my friends when I have the chance. My favorite subject is science; the reason for this is because you get to experiment things and do cool projects. My favorite food is pizza; I like bacon and pepperoni.

My artwork is about when I went to my best friend’s birthday party and we walked up the middle of the street. We all got in trouble because it was about to be past curfew for kids and the reason I did this is because it was a really fun time.


2nd Place

mosaic portrait of a boy with tiles in browns, tans, and blues
SELF PORTRAIT, Liam Bogner, Columbus, OH, Mosaic, NFS

Liam Bogner is a beekeeper who also enjoys interesting art like mosaics.


Emerging Category

1st Place

mixed media, abstract painting of Elvis with a white background and yellow figure with black hair. A small photo of Elvis is attached in the lower left corner
Elvis, Mixed media, Kent Cruea, West Carrolton, OH, $90

Kent always has a smile on his face. He has never met a stranger. Words are usually included in every piece he creates. In the studio he can be found working hard and eager to experiment with media. In his free time, he likes to fish and spend time with friends and family.


2nd Place

geometric paper piece with grey, maroon, and black sections colored in marker
Untitled, John Nusekabel, Marker on Paper on Wood, Cincinnati, OH, $150

John Nusekabel brings a fresh point of view to geometric abstraction. Using drafting tools John carefully partitions his composition into blocks, filling in the solid color with the fine point of a marker or pen. The quality that distinguishes his work from typical pieces within this genre is the fine texture that John’s thorough mark making generates. The back and forth, crosshatched effect of the drawing device softens the sharpness of the angles and gives the pictures a lush surface.

Books also play an important role in John’s work. Frequently John carefully replicates text from volumes and hymnals, breathing new life into the copied words with his elaborate handwriting. Sometimes passages within books are blocked out with a thick layer of graphite, resulting in sharp geometric forms interspersed with sentences. Using the eraser end of the pencil as much as the point, John meticulously removes any stray lines. This alters the surface of his work, softening the paper and adding shaded values to his finished pieces. An accomplished actor, dancer and sportsman, John takes his work seriously and immerses himself in each endeavor. John’s work is shown widely in the Cincinnati area including the Art Beyond Boundaries Gallery and The Carnegie Center.


3rd Place

image of bell-shaped lamp post with foggy background with possible trees beyond, dock and pontoon boat in foreground
Foggy River, Kay Giffin, Athens, OH, Photography, $165

When I look at this photo, I get a comforting feeling and a mysterious feeling. To look at this photo it makes you wonder what is on the other side of the fog? I wanted to just walk into the fog and never return to the real world.


Professional Category

1st Place

colorful drawing with a grid in the foreground with figures that resemble australian aboriginal illustrations surrounded by colored halos. Architectural columns are in the mid-ground and a green landscape in the background with dinosaurs
Momentous Circumstances, Kevin Cantrell, Columbus, OH Acrylic, $330

Kevin Cantrell is a man of spiritual energy who is very self-observant. He enjoys energy work, color theory, and delving into concepts beyond our world. In his recent body of work, he has been pursuing a narrative about the master of the universe and how he acquired all his unbound power. With images full of fantasy and symbolism, Kevin brings his audience into a mythical story that leaves you dying to know what happens next. 


2nd Place 

watercolor image of poppy flowers in blues and greens with the poppies in the foreground in white
Before the Storm, Staci Friedman, Columbus, OH, Mixed Media, $850

I am a mixed media artist with a passion for watercolors, botanicals, and abstract art. I am inspired by the beauty and delicate details of flowers, as well as the effortless, loose fluidity of abstracts. I create art as a way to express my individuality. When I begin an abstract piece, I start with a blank canvas and a general idea. Sometimes I am inspired by something simple, like a color that connects to a memory for me. I begin my realistic pieces with a sketch, based either on a live reference or photograph of something that enlivens me.

I enjoy trying new techniques, mediums, and styles and combining them with the spontaneity of watercolor. I am constantly looking for new ways to challenge myself, finding new sources of inspiration and ideas that spark my creativity. I am passionate about my work and I love what I do!


3rd Place

vibrant sunset in dramatic reds, yellows, and oranges over water with black rocks. Sun is setting between two large hills in black.
Sunset Over Rocks, Charde McKinney, West Carrollton, OH, Mixed Media, $110

Charde McKinney is a vibrant young artist. She has an eye for color that can be seen in her art. Her passion for art expands across mediums. Included in her portfolio is fabric design, glass mosaic, acrylic, watercolor and collage. In her free time she loves to shop, get her nails done, and talk to her friends.


Best in Show

drawing of stop sign with bullet holes and red dripping from the bottom, bottom of drawing shows a hand holding a hand gun with the words "arms are for hugging" printed on the barrel. Another hand is plugging the barrel with one finger that reads "love thy neighbor. The hand is white and gradates to deep brown
Love Thy Neighbor, Byron Stephens, Kettering, OH, Emerging Artist, Acrylic on Poster, $90

Byron Stephens is an artist from Atlanta, GA, but he has lived in Dayton, OH for 15 years.  He has always enjoyed art but has recently become an artist at We Care Arts in 2019. He also attends art programming at I am Boundless where he got started. Byron specializes in mixed media paintings. Aside from art, he enjoys rapping, playing basketball, lifting weights and working out, and cooking. His favorite food is macaroni and cheese. Music is a great inspiration in his art as he incorporates his original rap lyrics into his art. He likes to put lyrics on canvas and paint a visual for the viewer. Byron finds art to be a great stress relief and a great help to work through various problems in life.  Art creates a positive mind frame and has calming and healing effects. Byron creates art for its healing effects both for himself and for others to view and enjoy. He believes in helping others in any way needed and aims to do so through his art.

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